Do you ever have those moments where something pops into your head and, as random as it is, you can’t stop thinking about it? That is what happened to me last night. As I tried to fall asleep, my thoughts kept going back to the same event: my first dance competition.
It was a few years ago, but I remember it so clearly. The first day I was there, I didn’t dance, but my sister did so I was there to watch her. I remember standing in the grand hallway outside the theatre with my dad, and watching all of the other dancers walk past, leaving trails of sparkles and hairspray in their wake.
It was exciting, but also scary. The doors on the other side of the hallway led to the theatre and the stage; the stage which, come the next day, I would be dancing on. Last night, as I replayed this memory in my head, I remembered not just the overwhelming feeling, but also how I overcame it.
I remembered standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom, and I remembered repeating a mantra in my head. It was from a yoga book that my sister had gotten me for my birthday that year: “I am happy, I am healthy, I am lucky, I am loved.”
To me this mantra can mean two things. It can be four separate sentences, as if to say, “I am happy, healthy, lucky and loved.” But it can also be two sentences – “I am happy that I am healthy, I am lucky that I am loved.”
Like the memory of the competition, I don’t often think of that mantra. However now, when I think about it, I realize just how true it really is. I consider myself truly happy – I have amazing friends and family, I am pursuing things that I am passionate about, and I am having so much fun just living my life.
I am healthy. This is something I don’t think about that often, and something I almost take for granted. I’m just so accustomed to my life, and to being in good health, that I rarely stop to think that it’s not like that for everyone, and that my good health is something I should be grateful for.
I consider myself lucky for the things in my life I can’t change. My parents are incredibly supportive and kind. I didn’t get to choose them, but I am so lucky to have them in my life. My little sister is my best friend; she understands my jokes when no one else does and makes me laugh until I cry. I didn’t get to choose her, either, but I am so lucky to have her. I am also lucky to live in Canada, where I have freedom of speech and a safe place to live.
And finally, I am loved. I know I am loved by my parents, and my sister and brother (and my cat).
With American Thanksgiving right around the corner, I have seen and read a lot of posts and articles on the topic of giving thanks. One thing I read (I’m really not sure what it was from – it might have even been in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project) recommended to list five things that you are thankful for, each night before you go to bed.
The nights that I remember to, I try to do this. Instead of listing the things I am thankful for every day (there is never a day where I’m not thankful for my family and friends) I list specific things pertaining to that day that I want to appreciate and be grateful for.
When you begin to think about all of the little things in your life that you are grateful for, you begin to put the pieces together to see the big picture. Yes, you are happy, healthy, lucky and loved. And you are so many other awesome things, too.